Techniques used by the fast food industry to keep up with the high demand for product have several nagative impacts on the environment. Emissions from cooking at fast food restraunts are actually worse than emissions from driving vehicles. It is estimated that the emissions from cooking four burgers can equal the emissions from driving 1,000 miles.
Fast food packaging generates a lot of waste, very little of which is recyled. Fast food wrappers are a primary candidate for litter; only cigarettes surpass them in the amount of waste left on the road.
New laws are being passed to regulate the fast food industry’s environmental impact by requiring restaurants to lower emissions and by requiring chains to use recyclable packaging.
Fast Food restaurants have such a high demand for foods that they are usually grown unsustainably; with pesticides or hormones. Some chains are beginning to use only regulated foods that are healthier and more environmentally sound; such a Chipotle– though most have still not switched over.
One thing we may not readily think about is the large amount of packaging and associated waste that comes from fastfood restaurants. There is packaging on the burgers and friends and the drink cup has a straw that has a wrapper. Salads and sundaes may be in plastic containers that are not recycleable or people simply through away the whole bag / tray-full and do not make an effort to recycle. Some fast food places use stryofoam cups or packaging and this does not degrade (unless it is starch-based, but many may not be). This is all very wasteful and horrible for the environment.
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